Alastair Cook and his Gray-Nicolls Bats

Alastair Cook and his Gray-Nicolls Bats

Sir Alastair Cook and Gray-Nicolls: two cricketing names absolutely synonymous with one another. Cook is England’s all-time Test run scorer and Gray-Nicolls his trusted steed for every one of those 33 Test centuries.

A cricketer’s relationship with their bat is crucial. It’s the tool of their trade that simply has to be right. So what did Cook’s relationship with Gray-Nicolls mean during his career and which bats live long in the memory of his storied time at the crease? We recently caught up with Sir Alastair to find out.



GN: What did it mean to you to be a 'one bat man' during your career?

AC: I'm quite proud of that: a one county, one bat man. Hopefully people recognise Gray- Nicolls with Alastair Cook.

I was looked after so well throughout my whole career with Gray-Nicolls. The kit is absolutely outstanding so I was very comfortable. Any time I did go down to the factory I tried to pop down once a year, I was made to feel very welcome. 


GN: What did you look for from your kit and how did that evolve as you got older? 

AC: I think I got less fussy over time. But also, Gray-Nicolls and the bat guys knew exactly what I wanted; I wasn't the fussiest with that. It was more the handles; I liked quite a thin handle and only ever one grip. I did quite like a two-tone bit of wood with some grains too.

The big change over my career was when I first started with the yellow Powerbow in 2006 which I used in the Ashes; it was really thin. Bats then became bigger and it's amazing actually because I've got my first one and I’ve got my last one and the shape and the big curve we now get is so different.


 Cook's century in the 2006 Ashes


GN: Would you say that that Powerbow was your best bat ever?

AC: Well, I think I had two or three favourite bats. One of the Powerbows which was so thin, but it absolutely pinged; It was rock solid. Ravi Bopara actually used to laugh at me and say “why are you using that bat” and I gave him a go in the nets and he was like, “jeez, that really went”. 

Then a couple of other ones, the one in 2010, which was an absolute belter, but looked good too. I used it for the first three Test matches of that Ashes series. Then probably a really strange one, the bat I used in the 2017 Ashes for that double hundred; it was a really ugly looking bat. She was the last one I chose on that tour. I was struggling for runs; of course it's never my fault, so I swapped the bat and this was a really ugly bat, but jeez, it was an absolute belter. So never judge a book by its cover!


Cook's last Ashes ton in 2017


GN: Tell us about the experience of joining Gray-Nicolls back as a teenager. 

AC: I got my first Gray-Nicolls bat at aged 14 in the Bunbury Festival (as it was called back in the day). They awarded a contract for the best batter in each region, I’m not sure quite why I got it - I wasn’t the best in school and didn’t score the most runs, but I found myself with a two-year contract.

Gray-Nicolls was like all my Christmases coming at once, going down to Robertsbridge and seeing all the bats down there. I picked up two Millenniums AND two pairs of gloves - I never had two pairs of gloves ever before! I had two pairs of gloves, pads and for once I didn’t look like a village cricketer.


It gives everyone connected to Gray-Nicolls immense pride to see not only Sir Alastair's success with our equipment, but also the esteem he continues to be held in. It is iconic performances like Cook's that the brand will continue to be seen on the global stage for centuries to come. As far as brand ambassadors go, he is unsurprassed.